There are no doubts that social media has penetrated into all kinds of activities, undertaken by a modern human. Driven by technological innovations and revolutionary discoveries, the phenomenon of social media is becoming an inherent aspect of social evolution. Evolution is an advance from the simple to the complex, so handwritten time-consuming correspondence is gradually converted into sophisticated computer-based flash-like communication. On these grounds, education, as one of the most important domains, benefits formidably from numerous advantages, provided by widespread social media. The necessity of adjusting social media assets in order to improve the quality of high education is worth addressing.
In recent years, many researches have been conducted on both challenges, the international students naturally face while enrolling in higher education, and the ways of dealing with them. First and foremost, it is mandatory to explain the reasons of the increased cross-border mobility. Wu, Garza, and Guzman's views are based on the assumption that a great demand for pervasive globalization and internationalization engenders the fast-paced flow of international students. There seems to be no insurmountable reasons to argue that intensive international students' mobility gives a rise to the phenomena of social isolation, cultural adjustment, and cultural challenges. Some particular academic issues include communication with staff, classmates, and professors as well as difficulties in assimilating into academic culture (Wu, Garza & Guzman, 2015). The data, gathered by Russell et al. (2010), provides irrefutable evidence that almost a half of all international students experience severe stress due to a cultural shock and homesickness. Another research into the field provides an ample support for the claim that a number of international students, who are suffering from psychological concerns and other related difficulties, tend to rely on family and friends, because social environment is mostly unsympathetic towards them (Yi et al, 2003). In fact, it presents a case for a complete rethinking of an extent, to which social media may be efficient, while being used in higher education to assist international students in dealing with their academic and related issues. The data, gathered by Liu (2011), provides strong evidence that among the academic issues, the utmost one is the insufficient language proficiency, which hinders academic advancement. Blankenship (2010) gives an account of the practical ways of social media assets application to expedite the process of solving the academic issues.
The above-mentioned statements support the claim that culture shock, poor language level, and total isolation from native social environment are the determining factors in developing an impairment of the academic performance and causing psychological concerns as well as a substantial level of incessant stress. On these grounds, it is plausible to assume that this stress, begotten by homesickness and cultural shock, underlies academic issues.
In essence, each university is obliged to provide a counseling service, so that all international students can receive support, when needed. In practice, the majority of universities can boast about having counseling services of high professionalism and profound experience (Yi et al, 2003). However, international students are mostly reluctant to address for help to such services (Yi et al, 2003). Fortunately, social networking appears to be an extremely efficient substitution for the counseling service. A technical possibility to contact with family and friends, provided by social networking, at first lessens the stress and ultimately eradicates it.
Having assisted in reducing stress and solving derived issues, social media represents the way of addressing academic problems in an effective way. Evidence for the aforementioned statement is confirmed by the research that shows the key types of social media, used in higher education. It is peculiar that universities and colleges mostly use all social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as blogging platforms and message boards (Sivlerman, 2012). Class discussions and announcements are shared on the social networks. Professors are inclined to utilize blogs, e-mails, and message boards to share learning materials (Silverman, 2012). Overall, social networks provide an opportunity to create specific subject groups on the site, so that students and professors can join them and communicate in the real time. In case of poor language proficiency, an international student may ask a professor a clarification regarding the assignment details, and thus avoid misunderstandings and failures.
In conclusions, the application of social media in higher education in the first place may help international students to reduce stress by enabling them to contact with their immediate family and friends. Second, engaging in social networking (for instance, Skype, Facebook) may assist an international student in navigating the moments of real world and being aware of the important events, pertaining to studies and leisure. Consequently, the alleviation of stress makes it easier to deal with academic issues (Wu, Garza & Guzman, 2015).
In my view, it is important to give a lecture on the ways of how social media could be used to both cope with stress and assists in academic issues. In order to do that, university professors should draw first-year international students' attention to the advantages of social media during the very first class. Additionally, academic supervisors, accountable for international students, should create subject groups on social networks to involve their students in them and do the preliminary explaining about the purpose of such subject groups. Undoubtedly, such innovation will provide international students with confidence, persistence, and brilliant academic performance.